Sound Design: Build The Sound You Hear In Your Head
Sound design is how you create the tone and texture of the sounds in your music production.
Any method you use to arrive at the unique sound palette you use in your sessions can be considered sound design.
With such a broad definition it can be hard to know where to start. But sound design is one of the most crucial steps in music production.
The type of sounds you use in your music define the unique identity of your tracks.
One way to make sense of sound design is by starting with the workflow that inspires most and go from there.
Thats why we put together the essential sound design resource for all production styles.
Common Core State Standards
College and Career Readiness Reading Anchor Standards for Grades 6-12 for English Language Arts
- Reading 1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text
- Reading 4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone
- Reading 6: Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text
- Reading 7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words
- Reading 8: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence
College and Career Readiness Writing Anchor Standards for Grades 6-12 in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects
- Writing 2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
- Writing 7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation
College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language for Grades 6-12
How Does One Get Into Audio Production
The best method of getting into audio production would be going to a school that offers it as a course of study. Not only do you have the benefit of being surrounded by industry professionals, but you also have the support of IPRs Career Services team. For this reason, it is important to use your resources while you are in school, but also attend networking events, internships, apprenticeships, and job assistance post-graduation.
Additionally, an aspiring audio engineer or music producer can shadow an established producer or engineer. The benefit of this is experience is that it allows a graduate to see the ins and outs of the industry. However, this is a route that requires having the connections to gain this position.
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The Role Of A Music Producer
A music producer used to act more like the producer of film, providing artists with all the resources they needed to put an album together. This included finding and hiring instrumentalists, recording engineers, mixing engineers, mastering engineers, graphic designers, videographers, as well as managing the budget of projects. They oversaw projects from start to finish, doing what had to be done to push a project to completion.
The modern day producer tends to get their hands a bit dirtier, acting like a jack of all trades. Instead of hiring all these different people onto a project, which they sometimes might still do, theyâll often write, record, mix, and master a track entirely on their own. Thanks to where technology is at, itâs possible to do all of this, at a professional level, in your bedroom.
How Did The Recording Engineer Become A Music Producer
Slowly but surely, engineers learned more than just how to operate soundboards. They learned music theory, developed an ear for good tones and progressions, and soon became an integral part of the music creation process.
One of the better examples of this transformation from solely that of an engineer, to engineer and music producer, can be noticed when looking at the legendary Tom Dowd.
From working as a nuclear physicist on the Manhattan Project, to popularizing 8-track recording in studios and making channel faders the standard , Tom Dowd can be seen as an eclectic and versatile individual.
It only makes sense that he wouldnt be comfortable limiting himself to the role of an engineer during the music-making process. After working on a multitude of hit records, and landing a job as an engineer with Atlantic records, Dowd soon learned the music-making craft and became fluent in music theory and the discourse surrounding it.
With this new skill set, he was able to communicate his musical ideas with the musicians with which he worked. Soon he could suggest chord structures, tempo changes, and on occasion small changes to lyrics to better suit his artistic vision.
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Music Production Schools Are Versatile
Music production schools offer an expansive selection of classes. This versatile education style allows you to identify and develop your own music production style, and helps you gain the skills and information you need to create your brand in the music production industry.
This is virtually impossible without the benefit of audio engineering school, and it will be a much more difficult process if you choose an apprenticeship as your primary method of instruction.
What Do Music Producers Do On A Daily Basis
Music producers seek new artists to represent, while simultaneously managing their current musicians. On a daily basis, they might attend a concert or listen to demos to try and find new talent. For their current artists and clients, a music producer may develop an image or hook for a musical group, or create recording and tour schedules.
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Music Production School Prepares You For The Lifestyle
While many people imagine the life of a music producer as glamorous and adventure-packed, its also time-consuming and difficult. People who arent prepared for this reality are likely to be disappointed.
Fortunately, music production school prepares you for the lifestyle of a real music producer by acquainting you with the process of hard work, long days, and preparation. Once youve gotten comfortable with submitting assignments, working with other professionals, and trying out different production tactics, integrating into the world of music production is likely to feel much easier.
Audio Engineering School: The First Step to the Rest of Your CareerIf youre interested in starting your own business as a music producer or in entering the world of music production, attending an audio engineering school is the first step. By providing you with a cutting-edge education, music production school can give you the competitive edge you need to excel in your new industry.
To learn more about the benefits of music production school, or to find out how applying can improve your life, contact CRAS today.
How To Make Music With Daw Software
The only real hurdle is getting a free DAW. If you’re willing to pay for one at the beginning, then I recommend starting with FL Studio for ease of use on Windows or use the free Garage Band on Mac.
Turns out Avid put out Pro Tools First which is a free but limited version. It’s good enough to get started for sure. It limits you to 16 tracks which is way more than enough if you’re clever and not wasteful.
If you learn either of those, you’ll know how to use them all and can upgrade later once you know you’re committed and not wasting money .
All you need to do is figure out how to:
- Create a MIDI with a piano roll, or
- Create an audio track enabled to record, and
- Set the input source to your webcam if recording
If you can play the keyboard and have one you can even enter MIDI data if you get a MIDI-to-USB cable. Otherwise you’ll click it in with your mouse. It’s extremely simple and often faster to use the mouse.
As a singer-songwriter, you can create an entire song out of two tracks: one for vocals and one for your guitar track. You should be skeptical of anyone that tells you it’s more complicated than this.
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The Creative Process Of An Electronic Music Producer
Although everyone has their own unique way of making music, there are a few underlying processes that everyone uses in one form or another.
For example, our content manager Aden has a one-hour build series on our YouTube channel where he showcases his workflow:
As for me, heres a typical set of steps that I might go through when producing a track:
Of course, this is a simplification and each producer will have their own style and workflow. But hopefully, this gives you a basic idea of what a producer does.
Where Can I Study Music Production
Don’t put off your passion and delay that potentially massive payday!
If you want to capitalize on your talents and elevate your music production skills, look no further than the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media.
AIMM offers aspiring music producers a hands-on, immersive atmosphere where you will be taught by industry-leading instructors in exclusive studios.
A little bit more about AIMM’s campus…
- Recording studios
- Plus many more!
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Sweetwater Custom Computing Cs450 4u
Price @ Sweetwater
Sweetwater has made quite a name for itself with its custom builds that deliver excellent value and performance, but the CS450 takes the cake. An absolute screamer of a desktop, it has a fast and reliable processor that can take on even the most CPU-hungry applications. And with pro features such as a rack-mountable chassis and abundant storage space, this could very well be the studio command center you are looking for.
Basic Specs and useful features
At the heart of the CS450 is an Intel 8th Gen Core i7-8700 processor that delivers gobs of power and performance without breaking the bank. Although not the fastest and most powerful CPU on the market, it is certainly capable of most studio tasks and keeps the CS450 at a manageable price point.
We were impressed to find that the CS450 comes with not one, not two, but three drives: a 500GB SSD and a pair of 2TB HDDs. Sweetwater clearly has the needs of modern studio musicians and producers in mind when deciding on this configuration.
But the CS450 is more than just a studio machine. The rugged rack-mountable chassis also makes it capable of handling the rigors of the road, so you could just as easily use this as a stage computer for live performance, recording, or mixing.
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A Studio Recording Mic
What is it: A studio recording microphone is a microphone created to capture sound and then subsequently convert it into a digital signal. Studio microphones are wired, fixed-in-position microphones designed to capture audio in a studio environment, such as a recording booth.
Typical studio microphones are either omnidirectional, which capture audio in a 3-dimensional sphere and can capture most types of audio, and cardioid microphones, which have heart-shaped sensitivity patterns to better capture vocals and speech.
Why you need it If you are new to producing music digitally, the chances are that you have a prior musical background.
If you want to translate those skills into your digital compositions, a proper studio recording microphone is essential. There are ten generally accepted varieties of microphones, although two types make up the majority of the production market.
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Do I Need A Music Production Degree
Nowadays the most important thing for a music producer is a great portfolio to showcase your work. That being said, it doesnt mean a music production degree wont serve you: by going after a degree you will learn and put into practice your skills and meet a lot of people, but dont rely solely on it.
Do Music Producers Have Different Responsibilities In Different Industries
There are many different genres a Music Producer can work and specialize in according to their preferences and background. Some of these genre industries include gospel, hip hop, jazz, country, alternative and classical. They typically hold similar job responsibilities of guiding the recording employees and Musicians on creating songs listeners will enjoy hearing.
Music Producers are usually expected to have extensive experience in the specific industry they go into, usually as a Musician or Audio Engineer. This helps them better understand what the audience of that genre wants to hear. It also allows them to provide helpful guidance to Recording Engineers and Musicians during their recording sessions.
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Tools Needed To Record Vocals & Instruments
It may be the case that you want to record guitar, ukulele, keyboard, etc. Maybe you’d like to toss some vocals into the mix. There’s a high chance you’re already ready to do that too.
Most laptops have webcams built in that contain a microphone. All you need to do is set the webcam’s mic as the input source in the DAW and you can record any audio you want. This is more than enough to record full demos and at least get started and practicing.
We’ll talk more about this further down the article, but your next step to getting a bit better quality out of your recordings will be an audio interface and a microphone . But neither of these are a must at the start.
Whats The Difference Between 32 Bit And 64 Bit Operating Systems
64 bit operating systems are the gold standard for most creative software applications.
32 bit operating systems have become redundant as they are only able to run applications using a maximum of 4GB of RAM, which by todays standards is a no go. You could probably get by, but it wont be a very satisfying experience, especially once you get more than a few soft synths or guitar modelers up and running.
Most laptops made after 2016 are most likely going to come bundled in with a 64-bit operating system by default. Regarding Macbooks, anything past 2008 Macbook Pro will come with a 64-bit operating system.
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Music Producers: What They Do And How To Find One
If youre an artist or band making an Indie CD or EP, or a songwriter recording a master to pitch to film and TV, theres a good chance youre thinking about hiring that magical, mystical creature called The Music Producer.
So how does that work? What does a music producer do? How do you know if youve found the right one? Where do you find one? Lets begin with the most basic question and go from there.
Get Feedback On Your Music
Youre bound to make mistakes, especially when youre just starting out.
When it comes to making music, its normal to spend long hours in front of the computer brainstorming ideas, trying out different beats, or tweaking details.
You may think that youve created something awesome, but feel that something is off when you compare your track to other quality productions.
Thats why you should send the track to a producer friend and simply ask for feedback.
Music Producer Work Environment
Music producers most often work in music studios. They often work with others, such as sound engineers and different types of musical artists. When working in the studio, they work with computer software programs and a variety of dubbing, mixing and recording equipment.
Music producers often work long or irregular hours, especially when they have strict deadlines for their projects. They may also need to work nights and weekends and outside of the studio. For example, they may need to attend concerts or other industry events.
How Did The Artist Become A Music Producer
The best example of this occurring is with the work of Brian Wilson on the highly influential masterpiece, Pet Sounds. Brian wrote, composed, conducted, performed on, and even had a role in engineering this passion project. He showed that with the right knowledge, an artist can expand beyond their traditional role, to create something significant.
Today, many artists follow suit, as they take a larger role in creating the majority of the instrumentation on their records. The artist formerly known as Prince, and Beck are two good examples of how Brians work influenced other artist-producers.
Prince would, and Beck continues to create multiple layers of instrumentation and vocal performances, instead of hiring a band or outsourcing the composing process to another producer or composer.
Once again, we can see how a few talented individuals changed how we perceive the role of music producer, what it can mean, and who can be one.
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